The last time I saw uncle Rayvon on his feet, I slipped up behind him and put my arm around him as he and aunt Bessie were shopping at Ingles. He had no idea who was grabbing him but he turned around with a big ole smile anyways.
As Nancee was visiting one of her clients boutique stores, I was exploring Hartsville, SC when I got the not unexpected but unwelcome news that my uncle Rayvon had passed away Sunday. I took walking another block to soak it all in, then I paused by a grand church at the gates of Coaker University.
This was my first visit to the little town whose glory days seem to have long passed. There was still the old money university and grand old southern mansions looking around every corner. The cool air turned colder somehow, as I can contemplated the life of one of the two men I admired the most in my own journey.
I was thinking how uncle Rayvon always seemed to embrace the so called, “Sunny side of life.” As far as I know he never met anyone he didn’t like and I literally never saw the man show anger or displeasure even once.
As a kid, I remember him as being attentive to my brother and I, always with a tickle or a funny story from his childhood with his brother Charlie. I even remember his mom and dad and their little dog that lived across the street from them. I remember how he and Bessie took care of them, took them food and such. Their house along with my aunt Clara was about the only place my mom would let us be without her present. Such fond memories are a treasure now.
The sky which has been cloudy all day, gave way to a cold drizzle as I turned and headed back from the car and the king drive home.
When I got home I posted this one Facebook.
Godspeed to my uncle Rayvon Shepherd. As men go he resides in rare company along with my father as someone who I admired so much I wanted to be just like him.
I never saw him angry and that’s the truth. He always wanted to entertain us as kids and he could tell a tale like nobody else. Remind me to relay the one about the beaver his brother Charlie tried to kick getting after him.